When Senior Rules Official Gary Albin is on the course he is all business. He receives countless calls on the radio throughout each round with every golf ruling you could imagine. Whether a player wants cart path relief, a staff member wants to know exactly where to draw the out-of-bounds line, or an intern needs to know how many strokes a player should receive for a penalty, Gary is there to make the call! However, behind the man in the golf attire and nametag, there is a Marine Corps veteran with an affinity for doing things the correct way.
Rewind about three decades ago. You would see Gary Albin piloting a plane that was transporting one of the nation’s most important people… the president of the United States. Albin spent 24 years as a Marine Corps pilot. He chauffeured Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan as a presidential pilot. Albin recalls how personable both men were and looks fondly upon the time he spent working with them. President Carter and Albin share memories of camping, playing tennis, and fishing together. Albin also remembers enjoying conversations with President Reagan when the president would hang out in the cockpit with the crew.
So how did Albin make his way from 10,000 feet in the air with United States Presidents to a golf course with hundreds of junior golfers? The Marine Corps veteran likes rules and regulations! Albin explains how his passion for strict military rules transfers into his fondness of the golf rulebook. He began his rules officiating career with the local Southern California Golf Association. From there became more involved with junior golf. This year, he has traveled to several West Coast cities assisting the AJGA as the staff and interns run tournaments in California, Arizona, Washington, and Oregon.
Albin enjoys watching juniors grow their knowledge of the golf rulebook. He is aware that some players have a more advanced knowledge of the rules than others. He hopes more kids develop their knowledge of the rulebook.
The AJGA staff picked SRO Gary’s brain with tough ruling questions this week at the Bishops Gate Golf Academy Junior Classic. He enjoys the challenge of answering their questions. We look forward to working with him for the remainder of the summer!
By Tim Jackman (@AJGAJackman), AJGA Communications
Summer days can be long and tiring and time away from family and friends can be tough on the traveling summer interns. So, it is very special when they are able to see family and friends along the way. This week was the unofficial "Bring Your Family to Work Week" for several interns.
Savanna Schubert and her sister Sophia
Savanna (right) is a communications intern on Team 3. This week she is in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, at the Under Armour® / Scott Stallings Championship. Her sister Sophia (left) plays in AJGA events and is currently No. 23 in the Polo Golf Rankings. She opened the tournament with two rounds of 6-under-par 66 and finished with a final-round even-par 72 to win the Girls Division by 15 strokes.
Hannah Purdy and her father Tom
Hannah is an operations intern on Team 6 and has been traveling up and down the West Coast this summer. Her father, Tom Purdy, came to the Bishops Gate Golf Academy Junior Classic in Oxnard, California, to volunteer as a timing station volunteer on No. 11.
Kelly Litzelfelner and her brother Jack III
Kelly is an operations intern on Team 4. She has traveled to tournaments in Louisiana, Texas, California, Alabama and now she is in Memphis, Tennessee, for the AJGA Junior at Southwind presented by True Temper. Her brother, Jack III, is in the tournament field. A high school junior, Jack is in his first year with the AJGA. His best showing was a runner-up finish at the AJGA St. Louis Junior.
Scott Stallings and his son Finn
TOUR Pro Scott Stallings returned to host the Under Armour® / Scott Stallings Championship for the second consecutive year. He came out to the course and brought his son Finn (pictured above) with him. Stallings spoke to players and parents about his experiences and gave tips on how to succeed.
If you would like more information about the AJGA's traveling internships visit the AJGA Career Center.
By: Alexis Witman (@AJGAWitman), AJGA Communications
In the past few weeks, we said goodbye to the last
of our summer interns and the season came to an end, preparations also began to
recruit our 2014 spring and summer intern classes.
What better way to bid a fond farewell to our 2013
interns and provide information to potential interns than to offer up a
compilation of some of my favorite blogs, tweets and photos that were posted
over the course of our 13-week summer season by our 2013 intern class.
As someone who has completed two AJGA internships,
I’m quick to say that one of the amazing perks of the job is the beautiful golf
courses and scenery that serve as your “office” every day. A quick glance at
social media has me believing that much of our 2013 intern class shared my
Not only do our interns visit beautiful places,
they meet new people and make new friends in the process.
They may have been tasked with blogging for us
here on the AJGA blog, but a few of our communications interns also took to the
blogosphere on their own. Tim Hamilton, Megan Arnold and Tim Jackman are just a
few of the interns that wrote about their weekly encounters and experiences
with anything from rain and inclement weather, to great host families.
I was walking around the clubhouse on Sunday I walked right by Rory McIlroy.
Needless to say it was a bit of a surprise. Just not someone I was expecting to
see that day. It was quite interesting and cool to see one of the best in the
world in the office right next to ours.” – Tim Hamilton
Hopefully my #ThrowbackThursday was nostalgic for
those of you who just got off the road from the #AJGAInternship. We can’t thank
you enough for your awesome work helping us run events all across the country
For those of you that are reading this and thinking
to yourselves that the internship may be something you want to do, be sure to
check out the “Careers” page on our website.
Lauren Shelly, the AJGA’s Manager of Recruiting
and Special Events, as well as a host of other AJGA staff across varying
departments, will be hitting the road to visit career fairs across the country
this fall. Be sure to stop by, visit and ask any questions you may have about
the #AJGAInternship. We can’t wait to
Many times I’ve talked about how much the AJGA relies on our
interns to help us run our events in the spring and summer. Between the crews
we send out on the road to the staff that comes to work every day at our
national headquarters in Braselton – we couldn’t do it without them.
What many people might not know about our intern staff is
that several of them had experiences with the AJGA many years before they found
themselves researching tournament history, setting tees early in the morning,
choosing tournament hole locations and writing post round recaps. Believe it or
not, the 2013 AJGA summer intern class boasts 11 AJGA alumni. Not that long
ago, the staff you see out there on the golf course, were on the other side of
the tournament – standing in line at registration, arriving early to second
round tee times for equipment surveys and working to earn stars and exemptions
to help their PBE status.
In honor of #ThrowbackThursday, I caught up with a few of
our AJGA alumni intern staff out on the road. I asked them a few questions about
their memories, experiences and advice to juniors that may want to work for the
you’ve seen some of our interns out on the road this summer perhaps you can
identify them in these #ThrowbackThursday photos from their days as AJGA
your favorite memory playing in AJGA events?
favorite memory of playing in AJGA events was in a qualifier in Las Vegas. One
of my friends made it into a four-way playoff for the last spots. It was a four
for three playoff, and my friend teed off first and hit his drive about 40 yards
OB. Immediately, the three other players put their head covers back on their
drivers and pulled out irons. He didn’t make it, but it’s something we still
laugh about to this day.”
-Chris Ceman, Communications
Intern, Team 2
favorite memory would be traveling to Pinehurst with my Dad. It was a great
experience to be able to stay on the golf course at Pine Needles.”
Operations Intern, Team 4
one thing about AJGA tournaments that surprised you the most when you went to
the staff side after years as a member?
had no idea how much work went into making every aspect of the events possible.
I loved getting Polo golf shirts and Titleist golf balls, and having cold towels
and water available throughout the course. I definitely felt like I was playing
in a top-notch event and now I see just how much is done to make all of that
possible and to give the juniors an amazing experience.”
Operations Intern, Team 4
from a player to an AJGA staff member, it surprised me to see how much the
tournament chairmen impact an event, how important volunteers are to a
tournament, and much detail and planning go into an event prior to the event
Operations Intern 2012, Tournament Assistant 2013
one piece of advice you would give to a junior golfer that hopes to one day
work for the AJGA?
advice to current juniors would be to utilize the skills that are required to
be a successful junior golfer such as hard work and perseverance. These
qualities are necessary to work for the AJGA. These skills and your golf
knowledge are a great combination when applying to work for the AJGA.”
Operations Intern, Team 1
a phenomenal experience and a great way to give back to an organization that
helped me obtain one of my goals of playing collegiate golf. This internship is
also a great networking tool for job seekers that are looking for jobs within
as well as outside the golf industry.”
Operations Intern, Team 5
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing from some of our summer
intern staff. Remember that you can follow along with what they’re up to by
taking a look at the Summer Traveling Internship photo album on Facebook and
reading the “News & Notes” blogs that the communications staff posts from
each tournament site.
Interested in how to become an AJGA intern? Check out the
careers page on our website.
As always, we’d love to hear from you, so please don’t
hesitate to give any of the AJGA Communications department a shout on Twitter.
Roseanna Smith – @AJGASmith
Abby Liebenthal – @AJGALiebs
Stephanie Dittmer – @AJGADittmer
Amanda Herrington – @AJGAHerrington
And myself, Alexis Witman – @AJGAWitman
Happy #ThrowbackThursday! Until next time,
Q: What was your time
at the AJGA like?
My time at the AJGA was unbelievable. I interned in
1999 and was a Tournament Director from 2000 – 2004. My last two years
with the AJGA, I ran all of the Association’s major championships. The
players that were playing and winning those events are now winning events on
the PGA and LPGA Tours. [It’s] very cool to see these players continue to
have success as they move through each level of golf.
Q: What was your
favorite memory from your time at the AJGA?
I have so many great memories from my time at the
AJGA. The friendships you make with the AJGA staff last a lifetime. Also, I had the opportunity to meet some of the greatest players to
ever play the game which included Phil Mickelson, Sam Snead and Justin Leonard,
but meeting Arnold Palmer at the first HP Boys Championship at Bay Hill is my
favorite memory from my time at the AJGA.
Q: How did the AJGA
help prepare you for your current role at Bridgestone?
The AJGA prepared me to do things the right way. All
the little details make an event special for all those involved. Also,
many of the contacts I had at the AJGA are still contacts I see regularly on TOUR
now that I am with Bridgestone Golf. The AJGA has such a great fraternity
of people in the golf industry and many doors open for you just because of your
association with the AJGA.
Q: What about the
Association makes Bridgestone want to be involved?
The AJGA is not only the best junior golf organization in
the world but also one of the best associations in all of golf. We want
to be associated with the best players in the world and being a partner with
the AJGA allows us to do that. We currently sponsor an event, the
Bridgestone Golf / Brandt Snedeker Music City Junior, as well as sponsor the
low first round award at each event. This allows us to stay involved with
golf’s next generation of superstars.
In June, Brandt Snedeker will partner with his sponsor, Bridgestone, to host the Bridgestone Golf / Brandt Snedeker Music City Junior presented by Toyota. Snedeker, AJGA alum and current PGA TOUR professional, is devoted to giving back to the community, and along with various children’s charities he supports, he believes in the importance of giving back to junior golf. Snedeker posted three top-20 AJGA finishes and received Rolex Junior All-America honorable mention honors in 1998. Snedeker went on to attend Vanderbilt University where he was named SEC Male Golfer of the Year during his senior season. Snedeker was named PGA TOUR “Rookie of the Year” in 2007 and won the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in 2012.
In case you’ve missed something, be sure to check out our full AJC Top 100 interview series.
2010, Sara Wagoner made the transition from Braselton to Atlanta, golf slacks
to scrubs, 56 co-workers to 6,830. But one thing remained the same as she left
the AJGA for a job with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta: she was leaving one
AJC Top 100 Workplace for another.
lucky to start my professional career at the AJGA,” Sara said. “I don't believe
it's possible to understand how special the AJGA is unless you've worked there.
The AJGA is a family through and through.”
four years at the AJGA, Sara built a foundation for her career working for
nonprofits. She covered the spectrum of responsibilities as the AJGA Director
of Media Relations, including managing the video department, serving as editor
of The Insider, coordinating the communications
internship program, and overseeing the media relations plan.
worked harder in my career or had as much responsibility handed to me,
especially at such a young age,” Sara said. “I learned how to handle myself in
a professional manner, no matter the circumstance, and I really learned how to
be team player.”
She is now
a Senior Program Coordinator working with the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s
Healthcare of Atlanta, which checked in as the No. 10 large company in the
AJC’s 2013 survey of top workplaces.
AJGA employees graduate to high-level jobs in the golf and sports industries,
Sara had always aspired to work for a children’s hospital. And like many others
before her, Sara’s goals were realized thanks to the support of the AJGA
at the AJGA taught me many things. It was working there that made me realize
where I wanted to go with my professional future,” she said. “The AJGA would
have prepared me well for any profession, but especially one in nonprofit."
-Chris Richards (@AJGARichards)
In case you’ve missed something, be sure to check out our full AJC Top 100 interview series.
Floyd: Prestige Staffing
Tell me about your time with the AJGA:
I graduated college in May of
1998 and did the communications internship on the East Coast. I think I
literally came to training the day or two after graduation. I was a
communications intern, one of two, and Tonya Oskarson was my partner. We
traveled through the summer with four operations interns and ran events. At the
end, I felt like there could be a full time opportunity for me, but I wasn’t
sure when I left. A while later I got a call from Joel Schuchman (currently Director of Communications for the PGA TOUR)
and he offered me a full time job in communications. I was all about it – I
said I’m all in. There were only four or
five people at that point and we had this little corner of the building back
when the AJGA was headquartered at Horseshoe Bend. A year later I got an
opportunity a year later to start a staffing company in Atlanta and I couldn’t
pass it up.
What did you learn during your time at the AJGA?
I learned time management and how
to work in a kind of organized chaos – getting the course set up on the front
end and then post tournament with deadlines and getting the releases out. Most certainly
teamwork. I’m in a leadership position now at Prestige and one of our core values
is teamwork. I think the elements of teamwork that I learned while working with
a team that summer and full time at the AJGA was invaluable. No one person is
going to get the job done by themselves. It’s an absolute requirement that you
work together and cater to each other’s strengths. Living that 24/7 during that
intern summer and year afterwards was critical and I definitely carried that
over to my current business.
What was your favorite memory from your time at the AJGA?
The first tournament I worked, we
played at Bellefonte Country Club in Ashland, Ky. That week Hunter Mahan
qualified into the event. I remember Hunter Mahan just sitting at tournament
headquarters while the scores were coming in just dying to get in to the event.
I believe it was one of his first AJGA events, and he ended up just blowing
everyone away and finishing in second place.
I tell that story now and considering where he is, it’s pretty cool to
have been there.
What would you tell someone about the AJGA if asked?
[The AJGA] is a phenomenal
organization. It is the most competitive training in junior golf, extremely
well run with efficient tournament events and a great experience and what I saw
was it became a home away from home for a lot of these players. Some traveled
and played as many as possible and some just stepped in for a few events, but the
AJGA was very intentional in giving positive experience for everyone and
training in life values. You saw this in the pace of play policy, code of
conduct and making players take their hats off inside. These were sound
principles that [Executive Director Stephen] Hamblin and the other guys set up
front. I saw kids come to these events and there was this standard they had to live
by that was consistent throughout the organization. There was no tolerance for
people who didn’t play by the rules. A lot of parents appreciated the code of
conduct and realized how these values were beneficial to their kids at the next
I always recommend the
internship to everyone. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see places and do things;
it’s just phenomenal. I still talk to those guys I traveled and worked with all
the time. The relationships are the essence of the AJGA. The relationships I built
have been some of the most fruitful and beneficial I have had in my career. As
you live and work together for several months, the AJGA is great at forming a
family structure among its employees.
One of my favorite things about being involved in interviewing past staff members for our AJC Top 100 series has been hearing stories and history about the organization that I've never heard before. While preparing this blog and reading over Kevin's Q&A, it was awesome to read his answer to the question about his "favorite AJGA memory." I've worked the tournament at Bellefonte for two years now and had never heard the story of Hunter Mahan qualifying into the event… Very cool to hear.
Do you have a great AJGA memory or story you'd like to share? Find me on Twitter and tell me about it.
Until next time –